Stanford Students Are Very Happy

Some factoids about Stanford from a national survey.

Stanford students are the 12th happiest students in America.

How interesting. A few thoughts:

1) We beat Cal by 7 points. 🙂
2) I wonder what measure they used to determine happiness? Is it related to the fact that we’re the 19th most gay school in America?

According to this survey, we’re also one of the most Democratic schools in America.

We also have the 13th nicest dorms in America, the 15th most beautiful campus, and the 15th best relationship with our host community (which makes me think the surveyists were smoking crack, because the town/gown relations here seem a might strained to me…).

I would never have found this survey had not Andrew Careaga lamented his school’s despair and Mean Dean pontificated on his professorial possibilities. Thanks!

Churches Close To Stanford

sorted by proximity to campus

Highway Community
across the street from campus

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
about 2 miles from campus (Menlo Park)

Pathway Church
about 3 miles from campus (Palo Alto)

Grace Presbyterian
about 3 miles from campus (Palo Alto)

Abundant Life Christian Fellowship
about 5 miles from campus (Menlo Park)

Peninsula Christian Center
about 7 miles from campus (Redwood City)

Southbay Christian Center
about 7 miles from campus (Mountain View)

Vineyard Christian Fellowship of the Peninsula
about 7 miles from campus (Palo Alto)

Generations Church
about 8 miles from campus (San Carlos)

Mid-Peninsula Vineyard Christian Church
about 9 miles from campus (San Carlos)

Community Church of Santa Clara
about 10 miles from campus (Santa Clara)

Fully Alive Community Church
about 11 miles from campus (Redwood Shores)

Abundant Life Assembly of God
about 13 miles from campus (Cupertino)

Neighborhood Church
about 15 miles from campus (Santa Clara)

Jubilee Christian Center
about 17 miles from campus (San Jose)

Bethel Church
about 19 miles from campus (San Jose)

Three Cities Assembly
about 20 miles from campus (Burlingame)

International Assembly of God
about 20 miles from campus (Burlingame, meets Saturday nights)

Crossroads Community Church
about 25 miles from campus (San Bruno)

The River Church Community
about 25 miles from campus (San Jose)

Family Community Church
about 30 miles from campus (San Jose)

Non-English Speaking Churches If you’re an international student or are just wanting to hone your language skills, you might also want to consider these. sorted by proximity to campus

First Fijian Assembly of God
(650) 566‑9920
about 5 miles from campus (Palo Alto)

Cal Star Christian Assembly (Japanese)
(408) 296‑2480
about 18 miles from campus (San Jose) (also has English service)

Arabic Christian Fellowship
(650) 372‑9518
about 20 miles from campus (Burlingame)

How God Uses Search Engines

In which God uses a search engine to connect us with a student!

the following is a rough paraphrase of a very cool encounter that occured just hours ago

The scene: I’m sitting at my desk, thinking about what to put on our web site when I receive a phone call:

“Hi–my name is Aileen, I’m a student at Stanford and I live in Oak Creek. I saw your website and had some questions about Chi Alpha. It looks like you believe in being filled with the Holy Spirit. Do you?”

Me: “Wow. [long conversation, skip a lot of stuff] How did you come across our website?”

Aileen: “I did a search for Oak Creek Apartments and your website came up.”

The bottom line: we wound up inviting Aileen (a Singaporean Ph. D. student studying the biology of cancer) over for supper. We had a great time!

God is continuing to arrange divine appointments for us to facilitate ministry among the students at Stanford!

Bio‑X: The Stanford Superhero Center (not really)

Bio‑X, defender of liberty, champion of justice, research program at Stanford!

I just found out that Stanford has a center called Bio‑X.

Is it just me, or does that sound like some sort of shapeshifting superhero?

In reality, Bio‑X is arguably the most ambitious interdisciplinary bioscience research effort in the world. (source)

There’s an interview with Matthew Scott, chair of Bio‑X, on the Stanford website. In it, he talks about his hopes for the superhero-monikered program.

One section I found particularly interesting:
We have a bioethics expert, Hank Greely [professor of law] as a member of the Bio‑X Leadership Council, and he will be advising about this. Many issues are likely to come up — issues of access to health care, debates about the meaning, practical applications, and dangers of new technologies, or genetic privacy — all kinds of things arise, some of them ethical issues and some of them scientific issues with social impact, not strictly ethical.

Hmm… if I had to pick ethical issues related to interdisciplinary genetic and biological research, access to health care would not be the very first thing on the top off my head.

Still, it sounds like a tremendously important research project–giving me another occasion to repeat our rallying cry–today they learn, tomorrow they lead. These future leaders must be reached with the gospel!

Random Telephone Anomalies

One of those annoying little things that can hinder ministry…

Here’s a bizarre little annoyance: no one from Stanford can dial my telephone number (or my wife’s). Whenever they try it asks for an authorization code!

I called the IT department at Stanford to let them know, and they’ve been very helpful. They seemed just as surprised at the news as I was.

Let’s see–what could account for this ministry hinderment. Could it be… Satan? (soundbyte)

A Blatant Attempt to Get Linked By Listing Blogs I Love

Some blogs I read, along with a shameless attempt to catch Mean Dean’s attention.

Here, in a blatant attempt to get linked, I’d like to mention a blog that I’ve been reading with great enjoyment for some time now: Heal Your Church Website by Mean Dean Peters.

He muses on church websites, how to make them better, and all sorts of other issues pertaining to the web (particularly the Christian corners of it). Here’s my little blurb about it (for his blurb contest): he’s a veritable microcelebrity among Christian webheads. (How’s that, Dean? note: Dean got back to me and would prefer something describing his site: try a haven from the Jesus junk cluttering the web, or an irresistible magnet for Christian webheads, or casting down every vain website that makes people think Christians are lame, or wherein a microcelebrity among Christian webheads preaches good design, or giving Christian websites a baptism of fire, or perhaps even goading Christian sites to move beyond spinning crosses. But here’s my fave: wherein a Christian webhead does battle with the forces of kitsch)

FYI: here are some other blogs I try to check on a regular basis (no particular order):
Jordon Cooper: cool Canadian minister
Andrew Careaga: author of several books & a Charismatic youth pastor I met at a conference
Nicholette Lockwood: a student from our last campus ministry (read her testimony).
Joshua Sargent: an AG pastor who stumbled across my blog
Wil Wheaton: yes, he used to play Wesley Crusher on Star Trek. No, he’s not a Christian. I just find him interesting.
Richard & Christie Browne: friends from Missouri
Joel on Software: I just like this guy’s approach to programming

And two metablogs that I visit:
Blogs 4 God: a cool collection of Christian blogs
blogdex: I’m just fascinated by this tool. It’s the Yahoo! Buzz of blogs.

Stanford Undergrads Engage In Research

Yet another example of Stanford students changing the world.

Another note on those amazing students at Stanford: the undergrads are engaging in original, funded research.

How wild is that?

One student featured in the story is doing research on the dowry system in Kerala, India. My cousins, who are of marriageable age, are victims of the system, and if my parents had not come to the States, theres a good chance I would have been also, she said. I was a bit bothered by always reading about Kerala as the model state. I knew it had its good and its bad, like everywhere else … but this dowry system, a very present bad, is one Im interested in learning about more, understanding and contributing to stopping it.

Yet another reason we feel so passionately that Stanford is a strategic mission field. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: today they learn, tomorrow they lead.

Habit-Driven Academics Still Nervous About Religion

Another scholar reflecting on the academy and it’s lack of respect for religion.

Professor Christian Smith of UNC Chapel Hill wrote an interesting article for Books & Culture called Force of Habit attempting to explain a tenacious anti-religious sensibility among many faculty.

Several anecdotes effectively highlight his thesis: anti-religion is still alive and well among the university professoriate. Particularly anti-Christianity, which disdains a faith neither exotic nor “subaltern” enough to merit the admiration of intellectuals.

After spouting some very confusing sociological terminology, he uses a concept called habitus to account for this consistent trivialization of faith. They way Smith uses it, habitus seems to mean an idea carried forward by momentum rather than merit.

In particular, the notion of habitus helps to explain some curious features of academic anti-religion. One is that none of the anti-religious faculty I know as individuals are nasty people out to make religious believers feel bad. They’re smart, interesting, morally serious, and well-intentioned. I prize my relationships with them. They’re not aiming to be anti-religious, anti-Christian. They don’t have to try. It just comes naturally to them, almost automatically, as if from a fundamental predisposition.

I’d have to say that’s been my experience: the irreligious among the cultured elite seem genuinely shocked when they discover someone that they previously considered thoughtful and well-educted is possessed of a deep and abiding faith. They’re flummoxed.

More importantly, this habitus is infectious. The most pernicious struggle I see students engaged in springs from a perception that smart people just don’t believe in God.

That’s hard to battle: it’s not as though there’s an actual argument being made here. It’s just an attitude picked up by osmosis. That’s one of the reasons I try to bring information on intelligent believers to their attention such as a list of living famous Christian scientists and information on Christian faculty at Stanford such as Don Knuth.

We’re In a Magazine!

Wow–we’re in a magazine!

The other day I got a phone call from an old friend of mine (Danny Dardeau: his sister and I were in Chi Alpha together, and his brother-in-law was my roomie) back in Louisiana.

He’s begun a Christian magazine called Acadiana Christian and the magazine decided to feature us in a missionary spotlight!

We haven’t seen the issue yet, and it doesn’t seem to be posted on their website, but we’ve already had friends and family mention seeing us in ‘that Christian magazine.’ That’s pretty cool!